Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History: Immigration in the U.S. Presidential Election

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on September 28, 2016

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the presidential election and each candidate’s position on immigration.

Listenwise_immigration_post.jpgImage licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the biggest issues of the 2016 presidential election is immigration. There are estimated to be more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States so the stakes are high for immigrants in this country, along with their employers and families.

According to ABC News President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other President. At the same time, he issued several executive orders that were meant to shield many undocumented immigrants from deportation. In June 2016, a split Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, blocking implementation of those orders.

The two major party candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have opposing viewpoints on immigration. As Trump launched his campaign, he promised to build a wall to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country through Mexico and speed up the deportation of the millions of people who are in the United States illegally. Early in the campaign Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country. He has since qualified those positions.

Clinton has proposed comprehensive immigration reform. Her position is to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigration. She says she will end family detention and do more to protect undocumented immigrants. Listen to hear more details about each candidate’s policy on immigration.

Join the conversation:   How does someone's Universe of Obligation influence their stance on immigration? If you were to create an ideal immigration policy, what would your policy include? What factors influenced your policy?

Keep the conversation going with Facing History’s resources:  

  • Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis - This lesson offers materials, resources, and activities to explain and humanize a crisis that often feels too overwhelming to confront. It draws from conversations the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power had with students from New York’s Newcomers High School, all who are immigrants themselves.  
  • I Learn America - This film follows five immigrant teenagers over the course of a school-year at the International High School in New York City. Check out our viewer’s guide.
  • Fostering Civil Discourse: A Guide for Classroom Conversations - This guide provides teaching strategies, ideas, and approaches that teachers can use to create safe, reflective spaces for their students to discuss difficult topics like the refugee crisis.

Explore more stories about politics and the presidential election from Listenwise:

  • Listen to hear about how faith has shaped each presidential candidate in these stories:Trump's Faith, Clinton's Faith.
  • Consider the Foreign Policy positions of Trump and Clinton.
  • Learn more about the accomplishments and culture of Latino and Hispanic people by listening to audio resources in this blog post.

Listenwise helps teachers use public radio stories in their classrooms. To find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free Listenwise account!

FHAO_RGB_1--1.jpg         listenwise_horizontal.jpg

Topics: Immigration, Refugees, Refugee Crisis, Today's News Tomorrow's History, Listenwise, civil discourse

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all